Former United States president Ronald Reagan once said the most terrifying words in the English language are: I am from the Government; and I am here to help.
Maybe Reagan had Trinidad and Tobago Government officials in mind.
The “Soca Warriors” received a friendly invitation for a football match from 2014 World Cup title contender Argentina, ranked seventh in the world by FIFA, and the Ministry of Tourism spotted an inherent opportunity to market the two island republic and graciously stepped in to help sponsor the tour.
But, by the weekend before the high-profile friendly, the Government had clearly forgotten its mandate. And the CAL chartered flight that left Piarco for Buenos Aires had an eclectic guest list that included Government officials, former West Indies cricket star Brian Lara, president Anthony Carmona and his wife and the Siparia Rhythm Section; but there was no space for goalkeeping coach Michael Maurice and therapist Dave Isaac. It took Maurice and Isaac another two days before they could join their colleagues in South America.
Any two persons on the flight could have given up their seats and postponed their trip until Tuesday. But that would have meant considering the needs of the country’s young men first; and such foresight, humility and vision is always unlikely when the Government is handling operations.
Just thank the Lord that no one was fondled, pushed over or screwed on the trip. Mr Live Wire understands that Glenn Ramadharsingh was not on board.
To be fair, the People’s Partnership does not have sole ownership of the “Me First” attitude.
Just over a week ago, Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee could not spare two hours for a town meeting on the Brian Lara Promenade, which was put on by TV6 for the benefits of his environs and included DOMA president Gregory Aboud and Minister Bhoe Tewarie.
Yet, Tim Kee was happy to clear his week’s schedule to spend five days gallivanting in Argentina with the Warriors. Worse, the football president plans to return to Trinidad.
If the TTFA president, albeit one who doesn’t pay his coaches, does not respect his players and staff enough to sacrifice his seat and prioritise their needs as they go to battle for Trinidad and Tobago; then why would anyone else care?
So, Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams was denied the chance of extra practice with his specialist coach; and God knows he might need it as he prepares to face the Argentine firing squad of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.
Still, it could have been worse. At least Minister Two Pull was not there to show the goalkeeper how to wrap up the action.